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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



January 2005 Newsletter

Designing Supportive Environments

Creating a saner, simpler life


January 8, 2005

Welcome to Encouraging Words monthly newsletter. You have subscribed because you want encouragement in creating a saner, simpler life. Please pass it along to friends who could use this tips.

I enjoyed time with lots of family this holiday season. I was able to really slow down, have great conversations, laugh and connect. I hope you were able to also.

Are you ready for the new year? I have created a 90 minute coaching program to help create a joyful year for you. Together we can make an actual plan for your year instead of list of resolutions. Through 3 separate 30 minute chats or through e-mail, we will dream up visions of a fantastic year ahead. This can be a joyful year. A year that matters. Not a year of "shoulds."



Designing Supportive Environments

"You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?" ~W Clement Stone

Do you ever look around your house groaning because it is messy and cluttered and now you have to clean it...again. Instead of groaning this is an opportunity to design an environment that nurtures you and your family.

We often act as if we have no control over our environment. Yet, this is one of the areas we have the most control over. We can choose to pick up or walk over. We can choose the red or the blue. We can choose how to set up our furniture.

Making Your Environment Nurturing

If your environment was a nurturing one, what would be different? What would you need to do?

How would your kitchen be set up so it was a warm and comforting place? Homemade bread, uncluttered cupboards, a family message center? How would your family room look so it could be a connecting space with your family? Game area or seating facing each other instead of the TV? What would you change to create a bedroom that is serene and romantic? You could have fresh flowers, make your bed every day or clear off your dresser.

Changing Habits

Your environments can also help you create the kind of life you want to live. Do you want to be healthier? How could the way you set up your environment help you? You could clean out your pantry, set up an exercise area or set a beautiful table so you can savor your meals.

Do you want to save money? You could set up a lovely bill paying center and play music while you pay bills.

Routines and Systems

Part of designing supportive environments are the routines and systems that make your life easier. Morning routines, a mail system, your daily work checklist, and having a once a week errand day are some examples.

When you go throughout your day, what time of the day always bogs you down. Do you need a meal planning routine because 6:00 is always a difficult time because you don't know what do make for dinner?

Or maybe a new laundry system because it's 6:30 am and you have nothing to wear.

Keep track this week of where a system or routine might be helpful for you.


We don't need to go through life alone. One of the most important support structures will be other people. Do you have a friend to call when you get sick, but your kids have to go somewhere? Who would you go to if disaster fell? Who can you talk to when you are feeling down? Who do you have the opportunity to nurture and support?

Friends are one of the first things to go in a busy life. Who has the time? Everyone needs to make time. Relationships are what we remember, not the things or the work.

And if life suddenly breaks down, you need people to help you.

My theme for this year is "Reach Out." Between work and family, I spent less time with friends lately. I have already made a standing lunch date with a friend every other week, joined an evening exercise class with some aquaintances I want to get to know better and have made plans with two other friends. I want to be able to be there for others and I already know I have a support system for me if things get rough.

Making the Time

Once your environments are set up you will gain time. Your things will have a home that makes them easy to get to. Your routine cleaning will get done. You won't be searching through clutter to find things.

Now, you just need to find the time to design the environments. Could you block out 4 weekend days to overhaul your environment with your family? Could you say no to extra work and requests for one month? Could you decide to take it slowly and just work on systems for 10 minutes 5 days a week?

Action Plan

1. What are the environments in your life you want to make more nurturing?

2. What do you need to do to design these supportive environments?

3. Which would you like to start with?

4. Schedule time to make these changes.


Simplicity Calendar

Simplicity E-Course

Organizing Articles and Checklist



101 Self-improvement Experts Book: An ebook I have enjoyed that tells about the experts, what they have written, their philosophy and helpful ideas



Self-Care Tips for January:

         As you clean out the dirt, clean out ugly feelings and thoughts

         Find a favorite chair or spot to read

         Empty a shelf or horizontal surface so you have space for what this new year brings

         Don't take your life or home for granted

"We generate our own environment. We get exactly what we deserve. How can we resent a life we've created ourselves? Who's to blame, who's to credit but us? Who can change it, anytime we wish, but us?" ~Richard Bach


Relationship Ideas for January:

         Make a standing lunch date with a friend

         Make a list of supportive people in your life. Call one.

         Don't depend on one person for all your needs

         Schedule a time for some family cleaning

"Environments are not just containers, but are processes that change the content totally." ~Marshall McLuhan

I encourage you this month to create nurturing routines, supportive environments, and reach out.


Beth Dargis
The Encouraging Coach


A Note About My Recommendations: I provide links in this newsletter to products and services I am offering or I have personally found valuable. I have an affiliate agreement with some of the products I like.

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PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis